t has long been Jorge Masvidal no KO defeat. Until finally, Kamaru Usman came to give him a sense of defeat.
Jorge Masvidal returned to serve Kamaru Usman in the UFC 261 duel at the Florida Arena, Saturday (24/4/2021) local time or Sunday (25/4) WIB.
The duel was a rematch for both fighters. Previously, the first duel was held on July 12, 2020, in which Kamaru Usman won the decision in a five-round battle.
At UFC 261, Kamaru Usman won again. Fighting effectively since the first round, The Nigerian Nightmare won by knockout in the second round.
Also, read UFC 261: Only 2 Rounds, Kamaru Usman Makes Jorge Masvidal KO!
For Masvidal, this knockout defeat was the second time he had swallowed it in his entire career. The first, he felt 13 years ago!
Masvidal's first knockout defeat was in 2008. At that time, he felt it at the World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 3 event in Japan.
Since rising to UFC in 2013, Masvidal has experienced several defeats. However, they are all a losing decision.
Also read: Kamaru Usman, King of the UFC Welter Class
Until finally, the rematch against Kamaru Usman made Masvidal swallow another knockout. Gamebird, nicknamed Masvidal, admitted his defeat.
"I've never been knocked out in 50 male fights and Usman brought something he didn't show in the first fight," Masvidal said, as reported by ESPN.
"That's what happens when you are overconfident. He won this fair and honest fight," he said.
UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman dominated Jorge Masvidal last year over five rounds. But Usman wasn't satisfied with that performance; he thought he could do better.
Usman put a stamp on his rivalry with Masvidal on Saturday night, dropping Masvidal with a crushing right hand and following up on the ground for a knockout victory at 1 minute, 2 seconds of the second round in the main event of UFC 261 in Jacksonville, Florida.
With the victory, Usman defended his 170-pound title. It was the first time the famously durable Masvidal had been finished by KO/TKO since 2008.
"There are two setups to that right hand that I just envisioned them landing. That was one of them. ... I just had to stay composed and I was going to find it," Usman said of the knockout blow.
"I needed to put a definitive finish on that chapter, and I did that tonight," he added.
At the post-fight news conference, UFC president Dana White said Colby Covington is next for Usman in what would be a rematch of their December 2019 bout, which Usman won via fifth-round TKO at UFC 245.
ESPN had Usman ranked No. 2 in the world on its best pound-for-pound MMA fighters list coming in. At welterweight, ESPN has Usman at No. 1 and Masvidal at No. 7. Now, Usman has to be considered one of the best in the world currently, and the questions will begin about where he stands on the all-time list.
"With my fundamentals, I am the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet right now," Usman said.
White went even further, saying Usman is "one of the best, and he's on his way to probably be the greatest of all time."
"When you go in and you beat the guys who are looked at as the best in the world at that time and you beat them twice and you beat them convincingly, it's all part of cementing that legacy that this guy is going to have someday," White said.
The bout took place at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, the first UFC event with a capacity crowd during the COVID-19 pandemic, as 15,269 people were in attendance, according to the UFC.
At UFC 251 last year, Usman (19-1) beat Masvidal via unanimous decision in a fairly one-sided fashion. But Masvidal came into that fight on just six days' notice, after Usman's initially scheduled opponent, Gilbert Burns, tested positive for the coronavirus.
Usman, 33, now has his fourth straight title defense and his 14th straight UFC victory. He has the second-longest winning streak in UFC history; only Anderson Silva has more consecutive wins (16).
"You elevated me," Usman said of Masvidal. "You made me get into the workshop. ... I told everybody I'm still getting better. The sky is the limit for me as long as I'm doing this."
Saturday's title defense was especially emotional for the Nigerian fighter. In the Octagon after the bout, Usman put his welterweight belt on his father, Muhammed, who got to see Usman fight in the UFC for the first time in person. Muhammed was in jail for nearly 10 years on insurance fraud charges, before being released in February 2020.
"It was amazing," Usman said. "My family is finally complete, and to have him experience that, especially in front of a crowd like that and feel that energy, there's nothing like it. There's absolutely nothing like it."
Masvidal (35-15) is one of the biggest stars on the UFC roster. The Miami native was on a three-fight winning streak before falling to Usman last year. In 2019, Masvidal knocked out Darren Till, Ben Askren, and Nate Diaz in eight months to become one of the hottest MMA athletes in the world. The latter was for the mythical BMF title at Madison Square Garden. Masvidal, 36, has been a pro fighter for almost 18 years, but he has just recently become one of the most popular MMA stars in the world.
"He's got my number, man," Masvidal said of Usman. "He beat me fair and square. God bless him, man."
Going into Saturday's UFC Fight Night main event, it's not unfair to say we don't know who Dominick Reyes and Jiri Prochazka are.
When it comes to just name value alone, we do. Reyes (12-2) fought Jon Jones for the UFC's light heavyweight championship 14 months ago -- and many observers thought he should have won the judges' decision in that fight. Prochazka (27-3-1) has been a champion in another promotion, and he made a splash in his UFC debut last year.
As these two prepare to meet Saturday in Las Vegas, we certainly know of them. But in terms of who each of these men is within this division, we still don't.
Is Reyes, 31, the man who nearly toppled Jones back in February 2020? Or is he the guy who looked lost in a title fight against Jan Blachowicz last September? Reyes lost that bout via TKO, and he never really looked comfortable at all. He has since said that he wasn't himself that night, that he lost a little bit of his identity after the Jones loss and because of health issues in his family.
And as for Prochazka, is he a legitimate title challenger or merely a fun wild card in the division? The 28-year-old is extremely unorthodox, which makes him exceptionally dangerous. He is on a run that has seen him finish nine consecutive opponents -- seven inside the first round -- and it hasn't been easy for the UFC to find him an opponent. But in terms of proving his fighting style will consistently work against the elite of the division, this fight should tell us a lot.
Look, even though Blachowicz has established himself as the king of the 205-pound division after Jones' exit in 2020, this weight class is still wide open. If Reyes is the guy who pushed Jones to the brink of defeat two fights ago, he is capable of winning a UFC title this year. And if Prochazka is a fighter of substance, the same can be said of him.
Right now, we can't say with certainty who these guys are within this division. That should change come Saturday night.
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